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MacBook Air with Sandy Bridge could begin production this May

Analyst close to Apple supply chains claim new MacBook Air announcements coming this June, along with Intel Thunderbolt port integration.

While Apple has yet to officially announce its MacBook Air refresh for 2011, AppleInsider is claiming that new, updated models could be starting production as soon as this May, with official announcements from Apple coming this June.

The new leak is courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from Concord Securities, who has close ties with Apple suppliers and builders. Kuo is expecting the new MacBook Airs to come standard with Intel Sandy Bridge processors, Intel integrated graphics, and even Intel Thunderbolt technology. Support for the latter is not yet widespread, but Apple appears to be heavily favoring the ultrafast I/O port as it is included in the new 2011 MacBook Pro line as well.

More precise specifications of the new Air models are still unknown, but we anticipate the same 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch screen size choices if announced. Additionally, the models would likely continue to make use of ULV processors, so the energy efficient Core i5-2537M and Core i7-2649M are major possibilities.

The current 2010 MacBook Air was released last October in the U.S., but has since seen more competition in the thin-and-light category, including the Samsung Series 9. If the May production schedule holds true, then we could expect to see the new ultrathin lineup in stores sooner than previously thought.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-04-23 (Update: 2012-05-26)